What Are Caskets Made Of?

By Casket Emporium Admin March 12,2021

In the old days, the word casket referred to a box that was used for storing jewelry, as well as other small valuable items. That was before the word acquired a new meaning. Now, it is now often used interchangeably with coffin. Unlike a coffin, however, a casket usually has four sides. It also has a split-lid to facilitate viewing.

What are caskets made of? We tell you EVERYTHING.

Today, there is a wide variety of casket options, including those that look traditional and attractive. Caskets also come in a variety of colors, shapes, and motifs that reflect the personality and interests of the person.

With contemporary manufacturing methods, more varieties in terms of style and look have become available, depending on one’s budget and taste. Various materials are used to manufacture modern caskets. Following are the most popular:

Solid wood

You must have heard of the phrase “pine boxes” to refer to caskets and coffins. This is actually true even today as many modern caskets are made of solid wood, including:

  • Pine – Pine is a popular traditional casket material because of its simplicity and affordability. It often has fewer decorations and adornments compared to other types of casket.
  • Oak – Just like high-quality oak furniture, an oak casket is attractive. It is also durable. It is available in a wide array of wood tones ranging from light to dark.
  • Walnut – Walnut is popular because of its attractive grain. It usually comes with a honey-toned finish.
  • Mahogany – One of the prized and best-looking natural woods, mahogany often comes with a deep, warm black or dark red finish. It is also among the priciest materials for wood caskets.
  • Cherry – The material is rich and red-toned, resulting in a stylish-looking casket.

Wood Caskets are popular because of their beautiful, classic look. But, there are also other materials used for caskets today that mimic the look of solid wood at a lower price.


In recent years, Metal Caskets have gained in popularity. This is because the material is more protective and durable. Metal caskets are often made of the following:

  • Stainless Steel – The material is popular because of its rust-resistant properties. It is also resistant to staining.
  • Carbon Steel – The problem with carbon steel is that it isn’t rust-resistant. This is because it doesn’t have a chromium oxide layer. Compared to stainless steel, it is more thermally conductive.
  • Other options include bronze and copper caskets

Steel caskets are available in different thicknesses, which are measured in gauge. The thicker the casket, the more durable it is. Steel caskets are often sealed using a rubber gasket that creates a barrier for moisture and air. This provides additional protection for the casket. The casket is often painted or finished in various ways, resulting to a wide array of looks.

Precious or Semi-Precious Metals

Caskets made of precious or semi-precious metals are also available. These include bronze, copper, and even gold caskets. Bronze is a popular material because of its durability and resistance to corrosion. In general, a precious metal-made casket isn’t actually made purely of the metal. It often comes with an exterior coating of precious metal. It may also be made of steel that looks like a precious metal because of the finish.


Fiberglass is a versatile and durable material for caskets. The material is very lightweight. It can also be finished in many different ways – painted, made to simulate wood grain, metal, or marble stone.


With the growing concern about the environment today, caskets made from sustainable materials have become popular. These naturally biodegradable materials include:

  • Bamboo – The sustainable and natural material is popular for caskets because it can simulate the appearance of wood. It can also be woven similar to grass, or left in its hollow, natural bamboo cane state.
  • Fiberboard or Plywood – Caskets made of sustainable fiberboard are often covered with patterned or solid colored fabrics. To mimic the appearance of solid wood at a cheaper price, solid veneer may be used.
  • Woven Wood and Grass – This includes willow, cane, banana leaves, and different types of grass.
  • Woven Caskets – A woven casket is made in a method similar to making rattan or wicker furniture. Thus, such a casket looks like a natural woven basket.

Other sustainable materials used for caskets include sheep’s wool and cardboard.

Specialty materials

See-through acrylic may be used for special caskets that are specifically-designed to show the body. There are also studies being made to discover bio-plastics and other new casket materials that offer customization options and unique environmental properties.

Casket liners

Common materials for casket liners are fabrics such as satin, velvet, and taffeta. But, most liners for caskets are made of polyester because of its attractive and lustrous look. It is also affordable and easy to use.


The competition among casket manufacturers today has become tighter than ever. Because of this, more options have become available on the market. More innovations are expected to come in the years to come.

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